New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman threw around hostile labels in his Thursday piece on the ongoing tactical fight in Washington, pitting the "far right" against responsible "pragmatists" in the tactical battle over fiscal policy in "Boehner Tries to Contain Defections on Fiscal Unity."
Speaker John A. Boehner moved Wednesday to maintain Republican unity on deficit reduction talks as lawmakers on the far right openly chafed at his leadership and some pragmatists pressed for quick accommodation on tax rate increases on the rich.
The hostile "far right" label was repeated in a photo caption: "Speaker John A. Boehner, at a news conference Wednesday, has lawmakers on the far right openly chafing at his leadership." More labeling:
But the House’s most conservative members vowed to vote against any deal that raises taxes, openly challenging the speaker’s authority. Representative Jeff Landry of Louisiana, defeated in a House race decided last week, blamed the speaker for creating the perilous fiscal position the nation finds itself in. A senior Democrat suggested Mr. Boehner was dragging his feet on deficit talks to avoid striking a deal before January, when the House formally chooses its next speaker.
The Republican dissenters at this point represent a small portion of the House Republican Conference, but their public anger is striking. It also reflects a storm of criticism Mr. Boehner is facing on conservative talk radio and Internet outlets, in part for moving toward the president on taxes, in part for embracing a purge that removed four Republicans who consistently dissented from leadership positions of committees.
Weisman again pitted "conservatives" against responsible "pragmatists" who would guarantee "tax rates would rise on the rich."
Even before conservatives began speaking out of turn, pragmatists were pressing the leadership to take up and pass a Senate Democratic bill to extend expiring middle-class tax cuts, which would most likely ensure that tax rates would rise on the rich.